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Post #1009 • May 25, 2007, 11:19 AM • 17 Comments

History of the shadow in art. (Andrew)

Toast you can draw on! Beyond awesome, approaching sublime; it's a damn shame that this didn't make it on our wedding registry. Also at Drawn: You make less sense than pockets on pyjamas!

This sounds like fun. A six-gallery art walk is in full stride on the Upper East Side, covering some 600 years of endeavor from exquisite medieval gold-ground paintings to rambunctious 20th-century Conceptual photographs. In Masterworks of Six Centuries each participating gallery explores a theme, so that at the end of the three-block stroll you may have earned a pocket briefing in art history and a sense of time well spent.

Ice sculptures. (Bricker)

I sum up my feelings about the Mess MoCA here. Also, search this page for colicky.

In truth, Alison Lapper Pregnant [a sculpture by Marc Quinn, currently installed in Trafalgar Square] ...shows that we value people for what they are rather than what they achieve. In our era of the politics of identity we seem more interested in celebrating individuals' fixed and quite accidental attributes - their ethnicity, cultural heritage or in Lapper's case, her disability - rather than what they have discovered or done in the world outside of their bodies. We prefer victims to heroes. (AJ)

It was the late 1960s, and [Richard] Serra was in Jasper Johns's studio, preparing to make a splashed-lead piece: red-hot metal flung forcefully and artfully at the wall and floor. Mr. Johns, who had commissioned the piece, wanted to open the skylight to let out the lead fumes. He got a ladder, climbed it, opened the skylight, descended, put away the ladder, sat down and gulped a shot of whiskey. Then he took up a brush and very deliberately made a mark on one of his paintings in progress.

Department of Administrivia: now has working stylesheets for print and handheld devices. The print CSS shows pages without ads, site graphics (although images remain intact), navigation, or recent articles. The handheld CSS has been made appropriately humane for the small screen.

WDBA Report: I made good on my goal to add twenty articles to the Walter Darby Bannard Archive this week. Excepting pieces that have either gone missing or need oversized efforts to convert to usable text (a comment on the format, not the content, natch), the archive is pretty much complete from the beginning (1966) to 1974. Needless to say, there is some crazy good stuff in there.

Department of Skills: Happy Feet. (TG) Bonus robotics. I love this stuff. I just didn't start early enough.




May 25, 2007, 1:02 PM

Late add: "To be financially self-sustaining, painters, dancers, actors, and all other artists need to straddle the many different social spheres and funding sources that comprise the 'art world.' That is, the role of the artist in the twenty-first century is to create not only art but the market for art as well."



May 25, 2007, 3:13 PM

The role of the artist in the 21st Century is to make better art, for crying out loud.



May 25, 2007, 5:04 PM

Any thoughts on the recent Art in America article concerning art schools and the teaching of art?



May 25, 2007, 6:33 PM

A comment from the blog about 3 weeks ago:

"The problem with art schools is sufficiently demonstrated by the lackluster, cliche-ridden written language of the people writing about it, as demonstrated by the Art in America piece, and others like it. A necessary first step for successful teaching of art, insofar as that is possible, it to keep one's distance from all that."



May 26, 2007, 8:19 AM

I'm not so sure I agree with retreat as an approach, Opie. It keeps the artist isolated, above the fray. A self privileging of sorts. On the other hand, I'm not sure of the alternative. Wading into these grand discussions consumes time and energy that could be better directed in the studio. But is retreat the solution.
Caryn, I found the AiA really interesting, for trends in education as well as what various educators consider to be strengths and weaknesses. The direction CCA is taking toward integrating arts and crafts could be very interesting, but, the writing seemed suffocatingly self consious. I enjoyed Robert Storr's and Thomas Lawson's insights; emphasizing the quality of a BFA program and visiting artists, standard components of an education that certainly galvanized me as a young student. Laurie Fendrich's emphasis on original texts is strong, because it bridges history and contemporary practice. Mostly it seemed like trend forecasting and no matter what I think about it, it is a fact in education, so, it is interesting to know what is going on. It has been mentioned on this blog, I think, and seems clear that the model for art education in general is really outdated for the amorphous direction art has taken. I like the pupu platter of a foundations program that allows people to sample skills and pursuits that interest them and then to hone more specific directions as they go on. I could see courses becoming more workshop-oriented, project based, with sound and thorough introductions on the craft, social and historical aspects of the medium. Really, I see Black Mountain as the ideal--a retreat!!! of a different kind, a residency and community of artists, an inspiring network of shared goals and conflict. Maybe like a blog, with the ability to see work instead of words.
Earlier this year there was a panel in LA about eduation, run by Frances Barth at USC. It had some nuggets, esp a bloke from a Canadian university (sorry, forgot name, but it seems a conceptual center) who ran a think tank for abstract painters. He got funding based on a science model, and appalled at the language of his own proposal and the demand to maintain the 'lab/studio' and its funding,resigned his position. That impressed me. As to Starck, she envisioned a two-track system where there'd be teachers who taught craft and then critical theorists who taught social aspects of the art. I always found the integration of a philosophy, world experience and skill most compelling in my teachers.



May 26, 2007, 8:22 AM

Sorry, Frances Stark chaired the USC symposium, not Barth. Barth is an artist of a completely different order and chairs the graduate school at MICA. She is a wonderful painter. Stark is a conceptual artist.


Marc Country

May 26, 2007, 10:21 AM

Was the Canadian Robert Linsley, from the U of Waterloo?



May 26, 2007, 11:35 AM

We grouse a lot about all the money that changes hands in the commercial art system, $2 million for this, $100 million for that, but I speculate that the amount of money that changes hands for the education of young (and not so young) artists exceeds that of the commercial system, possibly by magnitudes.

Regardless of whether such speculation is accurate or not, the amount spent on education of artists is HUGE.



May 26, 2007, 2:43 PM

It was indeed Linsey, thanks for remembering. He has written a few screeds on abstraction, one linking Smithson's pours to Pollock's drips. That sounds like a familiar theoretical direction, but, I was not conversant with it. Wish he were a more dynamic painter, though all I've seen are reproductions on the U of Waterloo website.
Indeed, it is true, and I wonder if the renewed focus on education reflects state and dollars flooding the universities. The press always chases the money. Now there is enormous pressure for the PhD in art in the US,with state money pressing behind it. Don't know how it works precisely but programs seem to be moving rather quickly in that direction. Disturbingly, art history is being questioned in favor of a more contemporary cultural critique. The first instance of dismissing art history in my recollection was when Bennington dissolved art history to open lines and free budget, some time in the early 1990s. Little would I have guessed it would become an academic trend.



May 26, 2007, 5:09 PM

You are right, ec. How could retreat be an approach?



May 26, 2007, 8:59 PM

heh, heh.
Like passive agressive is a mood.
Or jumbo shrimp is an oxymoron.
I'm certain what I consider retreat is most likely a practical solution to solving the quandaries of art by shutting up and doing it, still, one likes a bit of chat...especially when the value structure is off and a painting needs pondering.


Marc Country

May 26, 2007, 9:34 PM

I encountered Linsley when I emailed him an inquiry about a UofW "Fellowship in Studio Art (abstraction), which might seemingly be connected to THIS...

It sounded interesting... until was informed that it only pertained to abstraction in PAINTING, leaving sculpture aide.


Marc Country

May 26, 2007, 9:35 PM

... leaving sculpture ASIDE.



May 27, 2007, 1:12 PM

Hmmm, didn't know he was still doing it..
Too bad about the sculpture. I wonder what he's thinking about American, French and British abstraction. Does British abstraction exist?
Are you a sculptor?



May 28, 2007, 12:17 AM

Only when I'm sculpting...



May 28, 2007, 4:42 AM

[...respects the guidelines. The conversations sieze up when people use multiple handles, multiple identities, poor English, long or editorialized pseudonyms, or generally monkey around with the comments instead of using them for discussion. ... Your ability to write eloquently in the face of rising disagreement makes you a valued contributor. - F.]



May 30, 2007, 11:03 AM

Marc, I asked to determine why the painting only aspect of LInsley's programme turned you off. Was it because of medium, or because it limited the scope of his ideas.



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